Natalie Raney, formerly Natalie Braverman, was a standout tennis player at Newport Harbor High and then Pepperdine. She is now a real estate agent and appplies the qualities she learned through sport to her career. (Don Leach, Daily Pilot / August 29, 2013)

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Earlier this year, Raney began work with Villa Real Estate, a new firm that represents mostly high-end properties.

Raney is now earning success in business rather than tennis.

She said Villa Real Estate consists of a group of elite real estate agents. That "brings out the best in everyone," she said.

Real estate, coincidentally, also played a role in her meeting her husband, Aidan, a cardiologist.

He was a tenant at a Balboa Island property that she was trying to sell. She went to the property, knocked on the door and gave Aidan brochures for an upcoming open house.

After meeting her, he later asked her out.

"He jokes, 'Here I am spending all this money on dinners and going to bars, and then all of a sudden my wife comes knocking on my door while I'm taking a nap," she said.

Being in Newport Beach has also helped Raney remain close to her family — her mom, Georgia, her father, Ron Foell, and two sisters, Brandie, 33, and Jill, 23.

The three sisters all played tennis. Brandie Braverman is the tennis director at Park Newport. She is a former pro.

Jill played at Newport Harbor and then at Pepperdine, too. She is now a golfer, who won the women's club title at Big Canyon Country Club and competed in the Jones Cup, helping her club win its third straight title and ninth overall championship in the 14th annual event that features the top players from the local clubs.

Raney has also tried to make the transition from tennis to golf, but she plays for mostly the social aspect. She also enjoys playing with her family.

"You would think it would progress, but it hasn't," Raney said, joking about her golf game. "I play with my mom a lot. It's a thing we do as a family. I also play with my husband sometimes. It's fun for us. It's not competitive at all. I feel very blessed, very lucky."

She remains close with her family and remains grateful for the sacrifices her mother made that allowed her to do so well in tennis.

"I have to give my mom credit," Raney said. "You don't realize what your parents go through. She was at all my matches, driving around. She was just as dedicated as I was. She was really instrumental with the mental coaching. It can be difficult because sometimes you're not on a team. It's an individual thing. It helps to have that kind of support."

That support has helped her to earn success back in Newport Beach.